Saturday, July 13, 2013

Guarding the Bedside Nightstand

Guarding the Nightstand drawer

Guarding the Nightstand drawer
The futile search for the extra set of car keys has boiled down to the unlikely bedroom nightstand. Sitting on the bed, the rummage begins: a half-finished paperback mystery place-marked with an old Target receipt, a fingernail clipper, an empty PEZ dispenser, a tissue – hard and crusty at one end, three Phillips triple-A batteries, a pair of ear buds for a Sony Walkman no longer in commission, a desiccated orange peel, three ball point pens – two with ink, a cat collar with a tinkle bell for a pet no longer in commission, a black comb, an errand list in pencil, dry and yellowing listing a dry cleaner long ago scraped away for a condo development, a wallet-size photo of a granddaughter in braces – she hated it, an instruction pamphlet for an electric alarm clock-radio no longer in commission, one Tic-Tac, a Smith & Wesson .38 special Chiefs Airweight  revolver with a two-inch barrel.
No car keys; scribble a note to “Self” – ‘Clean out nightstand drawer.’
The final, last straw search perimeter includes the coat pockets in the downstairs hall closet.
Summer jackets are all hung on the front pole. Hats are on the top shelf stacked to form a column of strange brims. Begin feeling outside pockets and groping inside pockets. Discover half a Wendy’s burger bun without meat wrapped in a napkin, a key to the back door that hasn’t been locked in 30 years, the other Tic-Tac, last year’s summons to have the car emissions checked by the State – approved, two ticket stubs to Iron Man III, a Petsmart fish food coupon for a goldfish no longer in commission, the box cutter that went missing last Easter, graham cracker crumbs wrapped in tinfoil, matchbook cover with penciled hospital phone number for mother – no longer in commission, a red dot laser pointer toy for de-commissioned cat, leaning against the closet wall – one .223 caliber Bushmaster assault rifle with laser night-vision sight, thirty round magazine and muzzle bipod.
As the search concludes, husband returns home from an unannounced errand to buy a part for the lawn mower, passes hall closet, pauses at the hall table and deposits car keys in the decorative ceramic key bowl brought back from Mexico. With the keys dumped, he unclips his Glock Model 17, 9mm semi-automatic pistol nestled in its Gucci spring latch holster and places it along with the matching extra 10 round magazine pouch in the hall table drawer. He waves to me and heads down the hall to the kitchen for a cold beer.
I snatch up the keys, drop them in my purse and unzip the pocket on its side. From the hall table drawer, I remove my Taurus Judge .410/45 Colt nickel-plated revolver, slide it into the concealed purse pocket, zip up and head for my book club meeting at the library to discuss Aldous Huxley’s book, Brave New World.